Boating Accidents and DUI

By Mark T. Flickinger, JD on March 25, 2019

Group of people drinking on a boatBoating is a recreational activity that allows people to get away from the daily stresses of the real world. But while boating can be a lot of fun, it also comes with some responsibility. Anyone operating a vehicle on the water is required to adhere to maritime laws. These laws hold boaters responsible for doing their part to keep individuals on their boat, and those in surrounding waters, safe.

If a boater violates maritime law and an accident occurs, he or she can be held responsible for any resulting damages, which may be significant. Boating accidents frequently cause serious personal injuries, and that is in addition to any property damage that may occur.

One of the most common causes of boating accidents is operating a watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Victims of boating accidents involving DUI can work with the Provo, UT attorneys at Flickinger, Sutterfield, & Boulton to seek the financial compensation they may be due for damages.

Dangers of BUI

Very similar to DUI, BUI refers to someone who is boating while under the influence. BUI is, unfortunately, common. The relaxing atmosphere of the water, and the seemingly open space, may give boaters a false sense of security when it comes to the operation of the watercraft. However, accident data shows that BUI is a dangerous activity with real consequences.

According to data collected by the United States Coast Guard, at least 23 percent of boating fatalities and 9 percent of non-fatal boating accident injuries, were the result of accidents involving drug or alcohol use.

Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol effects the mind and body in ways that make the risk of an accident higher. Alcohol slows down a person’s reaction time, impairs judgement, and compromises coordination and reaction times.

The effects of alcohol actually seem to be more dangerous to boaters than drivers, because many have a lot less experience on the water than they do on the road. Boaters average just 110 hours on the water per year. Since most don’t have daily experience on a boat, the effects of alcohol may be more likely to lead to a mistake that could cause a serious boating accident.

Compensation for Damages

If BUI results in a boating accident, the responsible party can be held liable for all damages stemming from the accident. Victims of boating accidents can work with experienced attorneys, such as those at Flickinger, Sutterfield & Boulton, to protect their legal rights.

Our attorneys will gather the evidence necessary to prove liability. We will also explore all avenues of compensation to maximize potential settlements for our clients. We consider both financial and non-financial losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Learn More

If you have been injured in a boating accident that was caused by BUI, you may be due substantial financial damages. To learn more about your legal rights, contact our attorneys at Flickinger, Sutterfield & Boulton to set up a personal consultation. You can reach our practice by calling (801) 370-0505.

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